Wednesday, July 06, 2016
BLACK LIVES MATTER FLOODED WITH HATE MAIL FOLLOWING TORONTO PRIDE PARADE SITIN.
Death toll from Baghdad blast rises to 250 - Iraq's Health Ministry-[Reuters]-July 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The death toll from a massive suicide bombing in Baghdad over the weekend has reached 250, Iraq's Health Ministry said on Tuesday.The attack, claimed by Islamic State militants which the government is battling in the country's north and west, was the deadliest of the many car bombings in Baghdad since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed, editing by G Crosse)
Black Lives Matter flooded with hate mail following Toronto Pride Parade sit-in-[The Canadian Press]-Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press-July 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
TORONTO - An activist group that stalled Canada's largest Pride parade to demand more rights for racialized communities says it's being flooded with hate mail, some of it sent by members of the LGBTQ community.Black Lives Matter Toronto says the vitriol demonstrates the racism it is trying to combat with its actions.The group — a Canadian chapter of the a larger U.S. movement active in Toronto since late 2014 — caused a stir on Sunday when some of its members who were marching in the city's Pride Parade staged a sit-in — bringing the event to a halt for about half an hour.The parade resumed when Pride Toronto's executive director Mathieu Chantelois signed a list of demands that included more funding and better representation for racialized communities during Pride events, and a ban on police floats in future parades.Chantelois later told the media that he only signed the list of demands so he could get the parade moving again."The show and the parade had to go on," he told local TV station CP24, adding that he had only agreed to have a conversation about the issues raised by the group with his LGBTQ community.Ever since the sit-in, however, Black Lives Matter Toronto has been the target of vicious, racist emails, some from members of the larger LGBTQ community, said Janaya Khan, a co-founder of the group."Particularly our queer and trans members, myself included, we have received dozens and dozens and dozens since the action," said Khan. "I think that is testament to why we had to create an intervention into Pride in the first place."The hate mail, which is "100 per cent" made up of anti-black racism, denounces members of Black Lives Toronto who have identified as queer and trans, said Khan."It's 'You could never be a part of our community, you savage monkey,' that kind of thing," she said. "The reality is that gender and sexual diversity doesn't negate the reality of racism and white privilege...In their minds my blackness made it so that I couldn't possibly be a part of their community."The group is now focused on ensuring Pride Toronto follows through with the list of demands that was signed at the stalled parade."Whether or not our demands are seen through — and they will be seen through — the success that comes out of creating the type of dialogue that we've seen is monumental," said Khan."This type of push back, this type of backlash, it means that we've struck a nerve...It shouldn't have taken 30 plus years for Pride to really consider what would make black communities and racialized communities feel safer in Pride."Sunday's sit-in was just the latest in a series of actions taken by the group that has frequently accused Toronto police of racial profiling and violence against the black community.Last summer, a rally shut down a portion of a busy expressway as the group called for justice in the police shooting deaths of two black men.This March, members of the group camped out in front of Toronto police headquarters for two weeks, demanding an overhaul of Ontario's police watchdog and the release of the name of an officer who fatally shot a man last summer. The group has also been a vocal critic of the controversial practice of police carding, street checks which it said unfairly targeted young black, brown and indigenous people.The group's demand to ban police floats and booths from the Pride Parade and Pride community spaces appears to have emerged as its most contentious call since Sunday, but Khan said Black Lives Matter Toronto isn't seeking a meeting with police over the matter."We're not closed off to discussion and negotiation, but we do not at this point trust commitments that the police make to us directly," Khan explained. "We're going to move forward focusing on what the community wants from us."The group specified, as well, that its demand centred around police floats in particular, and would not prevent LGBTQ officers from being at the event if they wanted to."We believe they should not have police floats and we believe they should not be in uniform and they should not be armed," said Khan. "That type of police presence within the parade itself is inherently problematic and creates very exclusive space for police officers and excludes marginalized communities from participating in the parade."Pride Toronto said it hopes to gather feedback on this year's Pride events at a public town hall scheduled for August.
Different targets, different countries: The challenge of stopping Islamic State-[Reuters]-By Warren Strobel and John Walcott-July 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Deadly attacks in four countries linked to Islamic State show the limitations of U.S.-led efforts to loosen the group's grip in Syria and Iraq, and the challenge of stopping attacks that are not only globally dispersed but very different in their choice of targets, current and former U.S. officials said."Bombing the heck out of (Islamic State's capital) Raqqa is not going to stop this stuff," said Paul Pillar, a veteran CIA analyst now at Georgetown University.In recent months, Obama administration officials have frequently portrayed the group's deadly strikes worldwide as a direct response to the U.S.-led military coalition's success in ousting it from large tracts of Iraq and Syria.While that may be true in part, the current and former U.S. officials said, it is overly simplistic and understates how Islamic State's influence has spread beyond the territory it controls.The ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim group's recruiting and propaganda directed outside its self-proclaimed caliphate long predates its loss of key cities in Iraq such as, most recently, Falluja, U.S. officials said."Evidence has been growing for some time that ISIS has been expanding its outreach, recruiting and propaganda, both online and with emissaries, as the military and economic costs of maintaining, much less expanding, its original caliphate have become clear," said a U.S. official who closely watches militant Islamic groups.In its new guise, some analysts said, Islamic State is coming to more closely resemble al Qaeda, which has primarily focused on large-scale attacks rather than try to hold territory.Building and maintaining a caliphate has possibly been more expensive and complicated than Islamic State first realized, the U.S. official said.U.S. officials said they are still analyzing the links between Islamic State and a June 28 attack on Istanbul airport that killed 45 people; an attack on a cafe frequented by foreigners in Dhaka on Friday that killed 20 people; a suicide truck bombing in a mainly Shi'ite Baghdad neighborhood on Saturday that killed at least 175 people; and attacks in Saudi Arabia targeting U.S. diplomats, Shi'ite worshippers and a security office at a mosque in the holy city of Medina.All took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends this week with the Eid al-Fitr feast.A U.S. official said the attacks in Turkey, Iraq and Saudi Arabia appear to have direct links to Islamic State. The one in Bangladesh may have been Islamic State-inspired but also have local roots, the official said.Intercepted Islamic State messages suggest targets to attack, including gathering places for non-Muslims and Shi'ite Muslims in predominantly Sunni areas, and government installations, another U.S. official said."There's a fair amount that falls somewhere in between inspiration and outright direction," this official said. "Call it suggestion."Counter-terrorism experts say there is no silver bullet that will stop strikes on civilians that are so globally dispersed and use methods of attack that range from single suicide bombers to massive truck bombs to hostage-taking."The challenge involved is, the action and initiative is coming from a lot of different places," said Georgetown's Pillar.Closer diplomatic cooperation, intelligence sharing and tracking money flows were crucial, he said."We've always made clear that the military campaign is not enough to defeat Daesh (Islamic State) or to remove the threat that it poses," State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday. "A holistic campaign that addresses the root causes of extremism is the only way to deliver a sustainable defeat.(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball, Yara Bayoumy, Jonathan Landay and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Ross Colvin)
Families of Iraq War dead hope British inquiry will criticize ex-PM Blair-[Reuters]-By Michael Holden-sJuly 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
LONDON (Reuters) - A British inquiry into the Iraq War delivers its long-awaited report on Wednesday, with critics of the U.S.-led invasion hoping it will condemn former Prime Minister Tony Blair while some families of slain soldiers fear it may be a whitewash.To be published seven years after the inquiry was set up when the last British combat troops left Iraq, the report runs to 2.6 million words - about three times the length of the Bible - and will include details of exchanges Blair had with then U.S. President George W. Bush over the 2003 invasion.Iraq remains in chaos to this day. Islamic State controls large areas of the country and 175 people died on Saturday in Baghdad's worst car bombing since the U.S.-led coalition toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.The inquiry's purpose was for the British government to learn lessons from the invasion and occupation that followed, in which 179 British soldiers died.But opponents of Blair's decision to join the war will be pouring over the report for its judgment on how the Labour leader, who quit in 2007, justified the military action. At the time, he said intelligence showed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction but after the invasion none was found."I was lied to. The media, the press, the families, parliament, everybody was lied to," Reg Keys, whose son was among the British fatalities and who stood as a candidate for parliament against Blair in the 2005 election, told Reuters TV.Blair has always rejected any suggestions he acted dishonestly, and a spokeswoman for him said she would not comment until the report was published.The inquiry, headed by former civil servant John Chilcot, looked at the reasons for the invasion, the war itself and the aftermath - and has taken longer to complete than the British military involvement itself.Public hearings, including two appearances by Blair, ended in 2011 but since then the writing of the report has been dogged by rows over the release of secret government files and the contacts between London and Washington. It will include details of notes from Blair to Bush and quotes from more than 130 records of their conversations.Critics believe Blair, who sent 45,000 British troops for the invasion, gave Bush an unconditional promise that Britain would join military action and that he then distorted intelligence to back this up and put pressure on government lawyers to give the invasion legal approval.Keys noted that Chilcot had said the inquiry would not play the blame game. "But I certainly hope it points the finger of accountability in the direction of the former prime minister who was the key player with all of this deceit," Keys said.However, he said he feared the report might be watered down as those facing criticism have been allowed to respond prior to publication.Chilcot played down this risk in a BBC TV interview on Tuesday. "I made very clear right at the start of the inquiry that if we came across decisions or behavior which deserved criticism then we wouldn't shy away from making it," he said."Indeed, there have been more than a few instances where we are bound to do that. We are not a court - not a judge or jury at work - but we've tried to apply the highest possible standards of rigorous analysis to the evidence where we make a criticism."His report is expected to be released sometime after 11 am (1000 GMT).-BLAIR'S APOLOGY-In an interview with CNN last October, Blair apologized that the pre-war intelligence had been wrong and for mistakes in planning, but not for getting rid of Saddam.He also accepted the war had played a role in the rise of Islamic State but it was far from the only factor."I've said many times over these past years, I'll wait for the report and then I will make my views known and express myself fully and properly," Blair told Sky News on Sunday.British media said lawmakers led by the Scottish National Party were considering invoking an ancient law, last used in 1806, to impeach Blair in parliament."You cannot have a situation where this country blunders into an illegal war with the appalling consequences and at the end of the day there isn't a reckoning," SNP lawmaker Alex Salmond told Sky News.The Sunday Times newspaper also reported that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - whose own position is in jeopardy after Britain voted last month to leave the European Union - was simply hanging on because he wanted to "crucify Blair".(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and David Stamp)
What went wrong? Bangladesh militant's father seeks answers-[Reuters]-By Aditya Kalra and Serajul Quadir-July 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
DHAKA (Reuters) - On the last Friday of Ramadan, Meer Hayet Kabir was hoping his son Meer Saameh Mubasheer, missing for the past four months, would come home. In Bangladesh, even kidnappers sometimes released hostages on a holy day.The 18-year-old did return to the capital Dhaka that night, but not to his father. Instead police believe he, along with at least four other gunmen, attacked an upscale restaurant in the city and murdered 20 people, mostly foreigners.Now he is dead, killed with his fellow assailants by police.On Tuesday, still in shock, Kabir was trying to make sense of what happened and what made the quiet, soft-spoken teenager give up a privileged life and loving home in one of Dhaka's upscale neighbourhoods to take up arms in the name of radical Islamism. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack."Something has gone wrong. Something has gone wrong," said Kabir, 53, holding back tears as he showed pictures from Mubasheer's 18th birthday in December on his iPad."I still don't want to believe my son has done it with his own, conscious mind," he told a small group of reporters who visited his home.It is a question many people in Bangladesh are asking after the attack on Friday, one of the most brazen in the South Asian nation's history and potentially damaging to its $26 billion (£20 billion) garment export industry. Most of the attackers were young like Mubasheer, went to some of the best schools and came from well-to-do families.Another suspected attacker, Nibras Islam, was around 22 and went to Monash University in Malaysia, where a bachelor's course costs nearly $9,000 a year, at least six times the average income in Bangladesh.As the stories of the militants emerge, they are challenging the popular narrative that poverty and illiteracy are the key ingredients in the making of a South Asian militant.Kabir, a telecoms executive, blamed Islamist groups in the country for luring his son away. Some people close to the family blamed it on the Internet, while Kabir thinks the smartphone he gave his son months before his disappearance might have been the way extremist groups reached him.He said that if such groups could radicalise someone who came from a loving family and was getting secular education at the elite Dhaka school Scholastica, no one should feel safe."We are a caring family," Kabir said. "If they can steal my son from my family, they can steal anybody's kid."H.T. Imam, political adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, told Reuters the attackers could not have acted alone and must have come in contact with radicals who influenced them. Imam said the militants' parents should also be investigated.-DINOSAURS, MOVIES-As a child, Kabir said his son was interested in dinosaurs and could memorize several of the animals' complicated names."His one speciality is that once he is interested in something he will get into details," Kabir said.During a visit to India around eight years ago, the family visited the city of Agra, home to the famous Taj Mahal. After that, Mubasheer became interested in history and started drawing pictures of Mughal emperor Akbar and Hindu Goddess Durga.Over the next few years, he also began to study Bangladesh's history, including its 1971 war of independence from Pakistan."He would buy independence war-related movies, dramas. That was his craze," Kabir said.Mubasheer was also fond of watching English films and cartoons. Occasionally he cooked food for himself and his father.In the months before his disappearance, Kabir said he noticed no visible change in his behaviour, other than that he stopped using Facebook and focussed more on studies.Family pictures at their spacious home, complete with tiled floors and a chandelier, depicted a normal childhood; in one, Mubasheer stands with his elder brother and plays a synthesizer.But his "mental growth was slow," Kabir said."His classmates also noticed it. They would say he was a Mamma's boy. He would not like it."Other than hobbies, Mubasheer was always interested in religion. His father advised him to use the right sources for learning about the subject when he gave him an English version of the Koran."Sometimes he would say he wants to become an accountant, sometimes he would say theology or sociology," Kabir said.Inside Mubasheer's small bedroom, a photograph of the Koran hung on a wall behind his bed, next to a study table that was covered with books on business studies, accounting and TOEFL, an English language test.Mubasheer would usually pray five times a day and visit a nearby mosque.Kabir has yet to go and identify the body believed to be that of his son."I am hoping a miracle happens, that he is not one of these guys."(Writing by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Paritosh Bansal and Mike Collett-White)
Trump takes potential VP running mates for test drives-[Reuters]-By Steve Holland-July 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump is taking some of his potential vice presidential running mates out for a test drive this week, meeting in private and trotting them out in public as he seeks to make his choice before the Republican National Convention less than two weeks away.Republicans close to the campaign say Trump and his team are considering announcing his running mate pick next week ahead of the convention, to be held July 18-21 in Cleveland, to try to get maximum media buzz from the decision.As his aides vet the people on his short list, Trump is getting an up-close look at some of the candidates and talking about it publicly, dispensing with the usual tradition of keeping secret the process of choosing a running mate.Trump, who is to be formally nominated at the convention as the Republican candidate for the Nov. 8 election, met privately on Tuesday with one possible pick, U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, at Trump Tower in New York. On Tuesday night, the two appeared together at a Trump rally in Raleigh, North Carolina.Trump introduced Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as "a great friend of mine, somebody respected by everybody." Then it was Corker's turn."I’ve figured out the reason why you love him so much," the senator told the crowd. "The reason you love him so much is because he loves you. He loves you and he wants the best for you."On Wednesday, Trump is to be joined for an event in Cincinnati by Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives who is another possible pick by Trump for the No. 2 position. Gingrich has been a close Trump adviser and is well regarded at Trump Tower.On Monday, Trump met on Monday with U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, another candidate on his short list.Others on Trump's running mate list include Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who Trump met with on Saturday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Christie, a former Trump rival for the Republican nomination, and Sessions are among Trump's earliest supporters in the party and closest advisers.(Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler)
Canada Post issues 72-hour lockout notice; work stoppage possible Friday-[The Canadian Press]-Jordan Press, The Canadian Press-July 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
OTTAWA - The federal government will stay out of a looming work stoppage at Canada Post for now, putting the onus on the corporation and its largest union to come to an agreement quickly before the mail stops being delivered.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that his government is not considering back-to-work legislation right away, a change from the former Conservative government's decision to follow that path in the immediate aftermath of a lockout in 2011.Trudeau did leave the door open to government involvement if there is a prolonged work stoppage at Canada Post, saying the Liberals didn't feel it was the "immediate responsibility" of governments "to be heavy-handed" in labour disputes."We are a government that believes in good faith negotiations that happen at the bargaining table. That is where these discussions need to be worked out," Trudeau said in Montreal.The federal NDP called the Liberal position in the labour dispute disappointing, saying the government was following the same path the Conservatives took in 2011. The party's labour critics said the Liberals have broken election promises to "end the Conservative-style attempts to discredit and disrupt our postal service."A halt in postal services could come as early as Friday if Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Works cannot work out a new collective bargaining agreement for the approximately 50,000 rural and urban mail carriers in the country.In a statement early Tuesday, Canada Post said it plans to suspend the collective agreement as of Friday. It blamed prolonged negotiations, the union's strike mandate and the financial cost of a rapid decline in mail volume.Canada Post said the 72-hour notice delivered to the union does not necessarily mean it will shut down on Friday.Rather, it said, the announcement would allow the Crown corporation to "take measures that are necessary to respond to the changing business reality."For the union, that means its workers are being threatened with a lockout, as CUPW has vowed to not go on strike and stay at the bargaining table.Canada Post said its latest offer presented on June 25 was fair and reasonable and that it still hoped to negotiate a deal with the union.The union wants to see a pay increase for its rural, mostly female carriers, who earn 28 per cent less than their urban, mostly male, counterparts to address what CUPW sees as a pay equity issue.Canada Post has said CUPW's demands are "not affordable" and would add $1 billion in costs over the life of a new contract as the postal service undergoes a review of operations, including the move away from door-to-door delivery.CUPW national president Mike Palecek said the Crown corporation turned in a nearly $100-million profit last year and appears to be on track for bigger profits in 2016, although Canada Post has not opened its books to the union."We know we're dealing with an unscrupulous employer. They have no problem lying to the public and they have been untruthful about the real financial situation facing Canada Post for years," Palecek told a news conference in Ottawa.Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton called Palecek's claims ridiculous and uncalled for. He said the Crown corporation regularly puts out audited financial statements and figures that the union regularly questions."Just because the union doesn't want to agree with the numbers doesn't make them not true," he said.He said the Crown corporation isn't planning to lock out workers and wants to negotiate a new deal.A lockout would mean a halt to delivery of mail and parcels, and Canada Post wouldn't accept any new items to send domestically or abroad. That has left companies fretting about what the impact could be on their business, school workers in Quebec hastily stuffing envelopes with report cards, and the federal government setting up contingency plans.The Crown corporation and its union have agreed to keep delivering social benefits like old age security, Canada Pension Plan, the working income tax benefit, and the Liberals' vaunted new Canada Child Benefit, which is set to be delivered for the first time this month.The payments will be delivered on the 20th of the month.The majority of those payments aren't done through the mail. Employment and Social Development Canada said about 95 per cent of employment insurance payments, 96 per cent of CPP payments, and almost 98 per cent of old age security payments are done through direct deposit.Employment insurance recipients who haven't or can't sign up for direct deposit can contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218 to ask for a cheque that can be picked up at the nearest Service Canada location.
Oil tumbles, loonie and stocks fall amid more Brexit worries-[CBC]-July 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
The price of benchmark North American oil retreated almost five per cent Tuesday, while the loonie dropped by almost a cent and stocks tumbled as investors fretted about the British financial system.The price for the August contract for light sweet crude was down $2.39 US to settle at $46.60 US per barrel.After triple-digit losses earlier in the trading session, the S&P/TSX composite index ultimately finished down 39.30 points at 14,219.57. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 108.75 points, closing at 17,840.62, after the July Fourth holiday. The broader S&P 500 closed at 2,088.55, down 14.40 points, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 39.67 points to hit 4,822.90.The drops came as more concerns emerged about the British economy in the wake of the recent vote to quit the European Union. On Tuesday, a trio of U.K. real estate funds halted trading amid a rush of redemptions.In addition, Bank of England governor Mark Carney loosened capital rules to allow banks to lend more to businesses and households."There's just so many unanswered questions both from the legal standpoint, a diplomatic standpoint, an economic standpoint," said Tom di Galoma, managing director at Seaport Global Holdings.On currency markets, the loonie traded lower. The Canadian dollar was down by 0.95 of a cent at 76.83 cents US.The British pound fell to $1.3029 US from $1.3259 US, hitting its lowest since the Brexit vote and the weakest in 31 years.Meanwhile, investors sought safety in gold. The price for gold futures for August closed at $1,358.70 US per ounce, up $19.70 on the day.
North Korea sends 'state-sponsored slaves' to Europe - rights group-[By Emma Batha]-July 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - North Korea has sent hundreds of workers to labour as "state-sponsored slaves" in EU nations as Pyongyang seeks to circumvent international sanctions aimed at starving it of money over its nuclear weapons programme, rights campaigners said on Wednesday.North Korean labourers commonly work 10-12 hour shifts, six days a week, but up to 90 percent of their pay is sent back to the hermit state, according to the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea (EAHRNK).Most are working in Polish shipyards, construction sites and farms. North Koreans are also employed in leisure and clothing firms in Malta, and have worked in other EU countries, it said.The North Korean embassy in Warsaw denied workers were deprived of pay."This is all nonsense," said an official, declining to give his name. "Nobody is taking (their salaries), they work and make money for themselves."But campaigners say North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's regime is using overseas labour to earn much needed foreign currency to offset the impact of U.N. sanctions, which were expanded in March after a nuclear test on Jan. 6 and a Feb. 7 rocket launch.EAHRNK director Michael Glendinning said Pyongyang was "in full control and benefiting hugely".A U.N. report last year estimated there were over 50,000 North Koreans working abroad, earning the state $1.2 billion to $2.3 billion annually, although some experts question these figures.Most are labouring in Russia and China. Others are working in African countries and on construction sites in the Middle East, including in Qatar which is preparing to host the 2022 World Cup.But EU countries are more attractive for North Korea because wages are higher, Glendinning said.-FAMILIES HELD "HOSTAGE"-The conditions faced by North Korean workers in Poland will be revealed in a report due to be published on Wednesday by LeidenAsiaCentre in the Netherlands.Researchers used testimonies from North Korean labourers in and outside the EU, field research in Poland and data from governments and other sources to compile the study.Earlier this year, LeidenAsiaCentre detailed the case of a North Korean welder who died from 95 percent burns in an accident at a Polish shipyard in 2014. Investigations showed the clothing supplied to him by his Polish employers was flammable.Campaigners say the welder had been working over 70 hours a week without proper remuneration.North Koreans do not have proper contracts or payslips, must surrender their passports and face restrictions in their movements, Glendinning said. They are also kept under surveillance and have to participate in ideological study sessions."What we're seeing is a mini-Pyongyang being exported. They are literally sending their human rights abuses to the EU and we're tolerating it," he added.Poland issued 2,783 work permits for North Koreans between 2008 and 2015, according to the LeidenAsiaCentre which has linked 32 Polish companies to their employment.Glendinning said Poland stopped issuing new visas for North Korean workers this year.Campaigners say North Koreans are vetted closely before being sent overseas to minimise the risk of defection."They only select workers who are married and have children - hostage-taking essentially," Glendinning said."If they were to defect the family would likely face some kind of punishment in a political prison camp, a re-education camp or - in extreme cases - execution."There has been one defection in Poland and possibly a few elsewhere, he said.A recent documentary by Vice News shows footage of North Korean labourers in Polish shipyards and on construction sites, but workers approached by the filmmakers declined to talk.One North Korean who escaped while working in Russia told them his family had been "destroyed" after his defection.Campaigners do not want North Koreans deported to non-EU countries where conditions could be worse, but say firms must ensure they enjoy the same rights and pay as other workers.The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates almost 46 million people are living as slaves globally. North Korea ranks worst for prevalence, with one in 20 people thought to be in some form of modern slavery.(Additional reporting by Magda Mis. Editing by Katie Nguyen.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)
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